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Pereira-Adesanya 2, Burns-Masvidal set for UFC 287 in April

Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport / Getty

UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira is set to defend his title in a rematch with former champ Israel Adesanya in the UFC 287 main event on April 8, UFC president Dana White announced Friday.

Welterweight contenders Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal will square off in the co-main event.

Additionally, a 170-pound tilt between Kevin Holland and Santiago Ponzinibbio will take place on the main card.

Pereira took the title from Adesanya in stunning fashion at UFC 281 last November, coming from behind on the scorecards to win by fifth-round TKO. The Brazilian fighter skyrocketed to title contention after making his Octagon debut in November 2021, rattling off three wins - including a first-round knockout of Sean Strickland - to earn a shot at Adesanya. Pereira is only 7-1 as a professional MMA fighter.

Pereira and Adesanya, of course, had a long history before their UFC bout. The pair previously met twice in GLORY Kickboxing, with Pereira winning both times. Adesanya had been the UFC middleweight champion since October 2019 with five title defenses and was also undefeated at 185 pounds before facing the 35-year-old.

Burns is coming off a first-round submission win over Neil Magny at UFC 283 last weekend in his native Brazil. The former title challenger, ranked No. 5 in the division, rebounded after suffering a thrilling loss to rising star Khamzat Chimaev last April.

Masvidal, one of the biggest draws in the UFC, hasn't fought since losing to Colby Covington in a grudge match at UFC 272 last March. The No. 11-ranked welterweight is riding a three-fight losing streak, including back-to-back defeats against then-champion Kamaru Usman. Masvidal's last victory came against Nate Diaz in 2019.

The promotion has not announced a location for UFC 287.

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